Similarities And Differences In Hrm Functions Commerce Essay

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In the report, the main focus is on making a comparison between the HRM functions of China and UK. The report has highlighted similarities and differences, which exist in the working patterns of different countries and how the national culture of the country makes an impact on their HRM practices. The report has provided differences and similarities on the basis of major HRM related concepts like recruitment and selection, training and development, rewards systems, and employee relations. The report has highlighted that the HRM practices followed in China and UK are different because of difference in their cultural background. On the basis of comparison that has been made, it is clear that the company gives due importance to HR although there are some modifications made in order to cater requirements of employees of the company.

Introduction

As a human resource manager of Marks and Spencer from our experience of working in various part of the world we are introducing the report, for the purpose of highlighting similarities and differences in HRM functions between China and UK. The prime focus is to explain the main similarities and differences, which exist in the working patterns of different countries and how the national culture of the country makes an impact on their HRM practices.

The report has been developed with an intention to highlight and explain the difference in HRM practices of the country, which can contribute to different national culture of companies (Drucker, 2012). The report will handle the key elements of HRM practices and will explain the difference and similarities in carrying out the activity in China and UK. The report will cover the following issues of HRM:

Recruitment: Recruitment is the most significant practice of human resource. The process of recruitment plays a pivotal role in searching for the prospective employees for the company and then stimulates them for applying for jobs. The major purpose of recruitment technique is to have the right person at the right place at the right time. Recruitment activity has a crucial role to play in organisational performance (Drucker, 2012). The process has been immensely helpful for companies since; it identifies and hires the best quality individual for the vacancy in the organisation, and the process is carried out in a most time effective and cost effective manner. Recruitment in an organisation can be done with the help of both internal and external methods.

Selection: Selection is an essential element of HRM. It refers to the process of selecting suitable candidate and transforms them into employees of the organisation. The process included is used for the purpose of selection of employees that include a lot of steps (Jackson & Mathis, 2011). The HR manager needs to asses the education, qualifications and level of alignment between the attributes of the candidate and corporate culture of business. This plays a pivotal role in selecting the right candidate for handling the affairs of the business.

Training and Development: This is also one of the key functions of HR. It is an integral part of functioning of organisations (Bourne & Bourne, 2012). Training is an initiative, which is undertaken by the company for the purpose of improving and developing the competency of its employees for increasing the efficiency of the employee towards his present job. Training and development lead to development of the attitude, skills and knowledge of employees for improving their behaviour (Kleynhans, 2006). It is a planned activity, which is undertaken after the analysis of needs with a target on development of some important competencies. The individual and organisational goals both are kept in mind while designing the plan for training and development.

Reward Systems: It is used in the company with the intention of motivating employees for improving productivity of business. This system motivates employees to take initiatives for the purpose of motivating them for better performance. The rewards are extremely beneficial, and the manner, which is adopted for distributing these rewards, also makes an impact on the quality of performance of employees and the effectiveness of the business (Dransfield, 2000). The most common types of reward systems, which are used in an organisation, are pay, promotions, fringe benefits, and status symbols. The main focus of using rewards system in an organisation is motivating employees to perform in an effective manner, joining the organisation and increasing the profit levels of the company.

Employee Relations: It is believed that the success and failure of an organisation is directly proportional to relationship shared between the management and employees. If the employees share healthy relations, the company is bound to gain a high level of success (Price, 2011). Human resource manager has a key role in building cordial relations between employees for binding their actions and directing them in a unified direction.

These are few of the main HR relations activities, which are conducted in an organisation. In the following report, information about how these activities are conducted in china and UK are highlighted. Along with this, similarities and differences in these actions are also highlighted in the report.

Comparison between the HRM functions of China and UK

In the following section of the paper, the main similarities that have been identified in the major HRM, practices of China and UK are discussed in detail. All the key HRM issues have been covered to provide a clear view about the similarity in the functioning of both countries.

Recruitment: In UK, Marks and Spencer regularly has vacancies and makes recruitment both for head office and trainee management program. The company follows the procedure of online application process in which, the interested candidates can scroll about vacancies available and apply accordingly. The company follows this basic process of recruitment in China also, where all interested employees can search for vacancies that are available in the company and can apply accordingly (Taylor, 2005). The major similarity between the recruitment polices of the company is that it gives due respect to diversity and makes no discrimination for employees that are being recruited in the company. Preference is given to local candidates in order to get a better understanding of cultures and provide high class services.

The company in UK has been making use of talent screener for the purpose of effective recruitments in the company. This proves to be extremely helpful in saving time and money of the company and on the other hand, recruiting the right people at the right place at the right time. The company gets dual advantage, i.e. of right employees in the most economical manner (Dransfield, 2005). This approach of using talent screener proves to be extremely helpful as better quality recruitments are done in the business (Towers, 2004).

While operating in China, the company has undertaken recruitment drive for finding the right men and women to meet the performance targets of the company. For the purpose of anticipating, recruitment needs of the company have taken steps for ensuring effective recruitments of employees.

Similarities:

Recruitment process in China

Recruitment process in UK

Equal opportunities for all candidates despite their caste, creed and sex.

The company recruits local candidates for the company in order to provide better services to customers after understanding their needs and wants in an explicit manner.

Equal opportunities for all candidates despite their caste, creed and sex.

The company recruits local candidates for the company in order to provide better services to customers after understanding their needs and wants in an explicit manner.

Differences:

Recruitment process in China

Recruitment process in UK

Recruitment drive is conducted for effective recruitments.

Expensive and time taking process.

No surety about the quality of recruitments.

Use of talent screener for effective recruitments in the company.

Less time consuming and economical.

Assurance of quality recruitments

Selection: It is extremely crucial for an organisation to adopt the strategy, which will play a pivotal role in attracting the most talented employees towards the company. In the Chinese market, the influence of the labour market, culture and political system has become the main reason that the company in this market is adopting a simple process of selection making use of unstructured interviews. The company has to use this method because of the pressure of the culture, even though the company has complete knowledge that the process that has been undertaken has low validity and reliability (Marks& Spencer innovates to get the right people and get them fast 2012). The selection decisions in the company are made independently by the line managers of the company.

The company has a clear selection policy, which undergoes the proper format of selection. The company has a well defined selection procedure and follows it in order to get the staff for the company. The company has the main focus on UK market and makes sure that customers are able to get the best quality products from company (Marks& Spencer innovates to get the right people and get them fast 2012). The company tries to select such employees, which will play a decisive role in helping the company in fulfilling its objectives.

In its operating market, the company has always been giving due importance to customers. The main focus of the actions of the company is customers. The success of the company can be attributed to the importance the company has given to customers and their demands.

Similarities:

Selection process in China

Selection process in UK

High level of importance is given to customers and accordingly employee is selected.

High level of importance is given to customers and accordingly employee is selected.

Differences:

Selection process in China

Selection process in UK

Simple process for selection is used.

Unstructured interviews are used because of the culture conditions.

Use of complex and lengthy procedures.

Well defined selection procedure as the main focus of the company is on capturing UK market.

Training and Development: Managers of Marks and Spencer believe that training is quite an essential element of business. The main reason behind this is that employees are able to gain right knowledge, skills and competencies, which are required in the business. The leaders of the company believe that employees become competent after training. These employees are also highly motivated for working well in the organisation. This has also been observed that the training and development also enhances the decision making capabilities of employees (Training and Development and Organizational Strategy at Marks & Spencer, 2012). The company makes use of this strategy in all its operational business units, but the style of implementation is different as per requirements of the culture of the country.

In UK, the company undertakes training and development with three main intentions, which include increasing value for money, making investments in different elements of the business with an intention of increasing market share and providing better customer service (Training and Development and Organizational Strategy at Marks & Spencer, 2012). While in Chinese market, main focus of the company is on development of a strong market share for which, the company is providing training to employees to cater and handle customers in the best possible manner. The company has focus on gaining market share in the company, which is only possible by providing quality services to customers. Employees are trained for providing superior services to customers and fulfil their requirements and demands.

Similarities:

Training and Development in China

Training and Development UK

High level of focus on designing, training and development initiatives.

Main intention to motivate and enhance the decision making skills of employees.

High level of focus on designing, training and development initiatives.

Main intention to motivate and enhance the decision making skills of employees.

Differences:

Training and Development in China

Training and Development UK

1. Development of a strong market share focussed only on customers for gaining strong market share.

Three main intentions, which include increasing value for money, making investments in different elements of the business with an intention to increase market share and providing better customer service.

Rewards system: Rewards play an extremely pivotal role in motivating employees for better performance. Marks and Spencer make use of reward management in their company for rewarding efforts of employees of the company. The company has an added advantage of attracting and retaining staff by providing rewards like facilitating the career longevity and balance in the work life (Marks& Spencer innovates to get the right people and get them fast 2012). The benefit, which the company provides to its customer, includes everything from a subsidised health care and pay rewards on the basis of performance for motivating their employees for better productivity. These rewards initiatives, which are taken by the company motivate employees and increase their level of commitment towards the company and its products. The company is also highly active towards corporate social responsibility.

In both countries, the company is making use of reward systems for the purpose of rewarding employees and their initiatives. In UK, the company lays focus on motivating employees to work in teams and promoting the group behaviour. The company highly promoted and rewarded the group efforts and not the individual results (Armstrong, 2010). The rewards that are offered to employees are also given on the basis of results that have been generated by the group.

In China, the rewards system that is used by the company as per the national and cultural requirements is that of individual rewards to employees. Employees are motivated for improving their self performance and contributing in the success of the company. The company is using this approach because it will motivate employees to work better, which will help in faster development of the strong base of the company in the Chinese market (Armstrong, 2010).

Similarities:

Reward systems in China

Reward systems in UK

Use of reward management for attracting and retaining staff.

Rewards initiatives helps in motivating employees and increasing their level of commitment.

Use of reward management for attracting and retaining staff.

Rewards initiatives helps in motivating employees and increasing their level of commitment.

Differences:

Reward systems in China

Reward systems in UK

1. Employees are motivated for improving their self performance.

Company highly promoted and rewarded the group efforts.

Employee relations: Employee relations are extremely relevant for a company and it takes regular steps for the purpose of making a positive change in these relations. The company has to handle the management of more than 60 thousand employees. Employee relations strategies, which are used in the business, differ in various geographical locations of the company. The company has always given the high level of importance to the relationship management with its employees and taken initiatives for making a positive contribution in these relations (Judge et. al., 2005).

In UK, the company takes positive steps for employee relation by taking continuous steps for positive development of their future and present status if they align themselves with the company's objectives. The company has been able to gain the trust of the company with the use of its strategy.

In China also, the company has been taking steps for the employees' welfare, which will play a decisive role in retaining employees with the organisation. The company has been making use of pension schemes, effectively handling of the political environment and understanding requirements of customers. This will help in making a positive change in the working of the company (Judge et. al,. 2005). Employees of the company feel highly motivated for working with the company as a result of actions, which can be taken by the company for the welfare of its employee. The management of the company builds cordial relations with its employees. It is not always true that the company has been able to align the individual requirements with the company's requirements but in the situation of clashes and problems the company has been able to resolve them effectively in order to maintain healthy and cordial relations with its employees.

Similarities:

Employee relations in China

Employee relations in UK

1. High level of importance to the relationship management.

High level of importance to the relationship management.

Differences:

Employee relations in China

Employee relations in UK

1. The management of the company is able to build cordial relations with its employees.

Take positive steps for maintaining employee relation by taking continuous steps for positive development of their future and present status.

The above discussed are few of the main similarities and differences, which have been extracted after analysing the HRM practices undertaken by Marks and Spencer in both countries, i.e. China and UK.

Analysis of Similarities and Differences Existing between Countries

On the basis of identified similarities and differences that exist between countries, it can be analysed that Marks and Spencer has been continuously taking steps for the welfare of its employees. The strategies, which have been formulated, are alike in some fields while different in others. The major focus of the company has been to build such an environment, which will play a decisive role in increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of operations of the company (Ristow et. al., 2009).

The main reason, which can be identified for the difference in strategies that have been adopted by the company in a different scenario, is national and cultural requirements of the company. The cultural background of countries is different as a result of which, requirements of employees of various countries is different. Employees of the company belong to the local environment, which increases the need for understanding their requirements and designing the HR policies accordingly (Sandford, 2011). The HR policies of the business aim at the welfare of employees, which is only possible if there requirements are effectively fulfilled.

From the actions and initiatives of the company, it can be inferred that it is taking steps for fulfilling its role in all direction, such as HR, CRM, government, NGO's, etc. (Appendix 1) The initiatives of the company are proved to be helpful in building its strong image and also motivating the employees to give their cent percent for the development of the company.

Conclusion

In the above report, the main focus has been on explaining the HRM strategies, which have been adopted by Marks and Spencer's. The company operates in many countries. The report has aimed at highlighting the difference between strategies, which have been used in the company in different cultural background. The report has highlighted the difference in strategies, which have been adopted in the field relating to HRM like recruitment and selection, training and development, rewards systems, and employee relations. The report has also provided the reason for the difference in strategies adopted in different countries, which can be attributed to the difference in national and cultural requirements.

References

Armstrong, M. (2010) Armstrong's Handbook of Reward Management Practice: Improving Performance through Reward. NY: Kogan Page Publishers.

Bourne, P. and Bourne, M. (2012) Handbook of Corporate Performance Management. US: John Wiley & Sons.

Cohen, E. (2012) [Online]. Available at: http://sustainablebusinessforum.com/elainecohen1/50486/marks-and-spencers-ladder-standing-against-right-wall [Accessed on: 16 November 2012].

Dransfield, R. (2000) Studies in Economics and Business: Human Resource Management. London: Heinemann.

Dransfield, R. (2005) GCE AS Level Applied Business Double Award for Edexcel. London: Heinemann.

Drucker, P. (2012) Management. NY: Taylor & Francis.

Jackson, J.H. and Mathis, R.L. (2011) Human Resource Management: Essential Perspectives. US: Cengage Learning.

Judge, G. Et. al. (2005) Employee Relations. NY: CIPD Publishing.

Kleynhans, R. (2006) Human Resource Management. SA: Pearson South Africa.

Marks & Spencer innovates to get the right people and get them fast. (2012) [Online]. Available at: http://www.shl.com/images/uploads/cs_MarksSpencer.pdfl [Accessed on: 16 November 2012].

Price, A. (2011) Human Resource Management. US: Cengage Learning.

Ristow, L. Et. al. (2009) Human Resource Management. CA: Juta and Company Ltd.

Sandford, G. (2011) Cambridge English for Human Resources. US: Cambridge University Press.

Taylor, S. (2005) People Resourcing. CA: CIPD Publishing.

Towers, B. (2004) The Handbook of Employment Relations: Law & Practice. NY: Kogan Page Publishers.

Training and Development and Organizational Strategy at Marks and Spencer. (2012) [Online]. Available at: http://www.articlesbase.com/entrepreneurship-articles/training-and-development-and-organisational-strategy-at-marks-and-spencer-1903116.html [Accessed on: 16 November 2012].

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